Roads of Rome III is a time management game where you play a general in the Roman army. Your task is to repair the infastructure of Rome so the barbarians hordes descending on the Empire can be defeated.
My first thought as I was going through the opening story was that it was a bit more than the game really needed. I mean, context is great and all, but do I really need to know that the general’s wife is pregnant and his motivation for saving Rome is that he’s doing it for his unborn child? What about the glory of Rome? Senatus Populusque Romanus. Other than that, I liked the intro. The art for it was absolutely fantastic.
The game itself is controlled entirely with the mouse. There’s no need to scroll around the screen to see resources and objectives, which made me extremely happy since after the first level there are time limits. I tend to find that single player games where you need to move all over the map add needless difficulty unless the level timer really accounts for that. There are 7 different resources involved in the game. What you say? You only see 5 on the bar. Well, the 6th is your workers and the 7th is time. You start each level with a single worker and as the game progresses, it lets you upgrade your base camp more and more to get more workers. An hour in, I had 3 workers going at the same time. Each level has a set of goals that need to be achieved. These always include rebuilding the roads and generally include rebuilding other pieces of the infrastructure around but might involve gathering special resources or purifying a water source.
The graphics in the game itself are simple, but well animated. I found them to be kind of adorable. One thing I rather liked is that periodically things in the terrain that might not look interactable but are will shimmer white to draw attention to them, especially if they are currently reachable. I also like the the mouse will have a little green check mark if you have a worker available but there’s a red X instead if you don’t.
There are four different modes of play: hard, normal, easy and relaxed. I played through the entire 1 hour trial on normal and I have to say, it felt too easy. I played through a good chunk of levels before I ran out of time, only playing two twice to make sure I got expert times on all of them. If I didn’t manage an expert time the first play through, it was extremely easy to figure out how to optimize my approach for the next play through. Hopefully the difficulty increases after the first hour of play, but that sample leads me to believe that the normal difficulty is a bit too easy.
Overall, I enjoyed Roads of Rome III, but there were a few things I feel like could have been improved. With the story so involved in the beginning, I was sad that I didn’t hear any more, though that could have just been because the trial was only an hour long. I award Roads of Rome III a 3.5 out of a 5 hearts.
If you would like to play Roads of Rome III, you can find it here on Big Fish Games. There is a 1 hour free trial or you can buy the full game for $9.99.